Clarisonic Classic Skin Care System

by Clarisonic  
Price:
$159 
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Category:
Skin Care > Specialty Products > Specialty Skin Care Products
Last Updated:
5/16/2014
Jar Packaging:
No
Tested On Animals:
Yes

The Clarisonic Classic system is a battery-powered, rechargeable oscillating brush designed for your face. You are supposed to use this device for one minute, which the company claims “Leaves skin feeling and looking smoother” and “Deeply cleanses and clarifies the skin.” The system is also supposed to remove six times more makeup than just using a cleanser.

Why should you spend this much money on a rotating brush to clean your skin? Well, in addition to Oprah Winfrey professing her love for this device (she's given this system more exposure than the company could ever do on its own!) the makers of Clarisonic have a rather official-looking study showing that it reduces oil on the skin.

Their study looked at 30 adults with oily skin. During one visit, each participant had one side of their forehead manually cleansed and the other half was cleansed with the Clarisonic brush and cleanser. The results? The amount of “surface sebum remaining after cleansing with the Clarisonic was found to be significantly less than that remaining after cleansing manually.” We wouldn’t hang our hats on this trivial research.

Comparing the brush to just regular washing isn’t much of a comparison—what about comparing the Clarisonic to manual cleansing with a cleanser other than the Clarisonic version? Perhaps their cleanser isn’t adequate for removing oil without using their brush. What would have been more relevant would have been to compare the Clarisonic to manual cleansing with a washcloth. We suspect that the washcloth would have proven just as effective and, to say the least, far less expensive. Such a comparison was done at a later date, and published in the February 2005 issue of the peer reviewed journal, Cosmetic Dermatology.

The dermatologist who authored the report states that the Clarisonic cleaned best because it removed the most makeup compared to standard cleansers, a scrub, and a face cloth. Aside from the fact that Clarisonic paid for the study, (there have been no independent studies), what wasn't mentioned was the brand names of the cleansers used, or what the results would have been had the participants used a makeup remover before cleansing. The Clarisonic Web site lists other studies to support their claims and efficacy, but all of them were conducted by the team behind these products. In that sense, they're simply not as reliable as third-party, double-blind, substantiated research.

Bottom line: We're not saying that Clarisonic's brush is not a good way to clean skin. What we are saying is that it is not the only nor is it the best way to clean skin or remove makeup. Without question, it is needlessly expensive and not something anyone should go into debt for out of concern their skin is not getting clean enough. Besides, if you want to see what all the fuss is about, you can check out the similar cleansing brush system from Olay's Pro-X brand (this retails for around $30).

The only other published piece of information about Clarisonic simply described how the sonic cleansing worked to provide consistent results and help loosen debris trapped in pores due to the oscillating brush head. Sounds promising, but the piece was written by Pacific Bioscience Laboratories, the company that, you guessed it, sells Clarisonic (Source: Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, June 2006, pages 181-183).

This brush will certainly help clean skin (and for that reason it deserves a Good rating), but it won't reduce wrinkles, pore size, or blemishes--at least not to a degree where you'll be glad you splurged on the system. The basic system includes two brush heads (for normal and sensitive skin); a Delicate brush head is available for separate purchase (all brush heads cost $25 apiece). The Delicate brush is recommended for very sensitive skin; however, regardless of brush head chosen, I'd use caution if you're attempting to use Clarisonic and have rosacea or sensitive skin.

Note: If you decide to use this or any other cleansing brush on your skin, please be gentle. Overzealous usage can lead to inflammation that can hurt your skin's healing process. Pay attention to how your skin responds and discontinue (or reduce frequency of) use if you see signs of irritation.

Everything you need to sonically cleanse and clarify for smooth, healthy, radiant skin. Six times more makeup removal; Leaves skin feeling and looking younger and smoother; Cleanses so well that products absorb better; Helps reduce oily areas, dry skin patches and blemishes; Helps reduce the appearance of visible pores; Reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

The Classic Clarisonic system is one of the most expensive ways to clean your face on a daily basis we've ever seen. It is a battery-powered, rotating brush with adjustable power levels for different skin types, along with two different brush heads for normal or sensitive skin. It also comes with 1- ounce-each tubes of Clarisonic's three cleansers (for $195 you'd think they could at least give you more than a three-week supply of cleanser). Does the expense mean you'll get significantly cleaner skin? Is Oprah Winfrey on to something by naming this device one of her favorite things? Read our review of the Clarisonic system to find out!

For more information about Clarisonic, call (888) 525-2747 or visit www.clarisonic.com.

Member Comments

Summary of Member Comments

  1. How would you rate the results? (4 = Best)

    3 / 4 Good
  2. Was this product a good value? (4 = Best)

    3 / 4 Good
  3. Would you recommend this product? (4 = Best)

    3 / 4 Good
Page of 3 Next »
  1. Anonymous
    Reviewed on Tuesday, July 15, 2014
    • Recommend
      4 / 4
    • Value
      4 / 4
    • Results
      4 / 4
    Love it!
    • I have the Mia ($100, 3yrs old) and the Mia 2 ($125, 1.5yrs old). I use the cleanser from Acne.org. I also use a BHA (~5 yrs). My pores look much smaller than they did when just using the same cleanser w/washcloth and the BHA (post cleanse). I didn’t really expect/see a change in the oiliness. Cleanser type seems to be key. So much less irritation w/ a foaming cleanser (vs. non-foaming, w/all brush types). Better results than any facial I've ever had, so they've more than paid for themselves!

  2. Anonymous
    Reviewed on Sunday, June 29, 2014
    • Recommend
      1 / 4
    • Results
      1 / 4
    • Value
      1 / 4
    HORRIBLE!
    • Broke out like crazy with huge cysts! Made my skin peel and flake, and I mean taking off an inch size worth of skin. Had horrible sensitive skin with this and I used it sparingly (1-2 times per week), used different cleansers, and had the so-called "sensitive" brush head. I returned it and got my $175.00 back, and was soooooo glad they did take it back. Would have been such a waste of money. FYI, I also read reviews that stated they caused more wrinkles due to the abrasiveness of it.

  3. Sylvia A
    Reviewed on Friday, June 06, 2014
    • Results
      4 / 4
    • Value
      4 / 4
    • Recommend
      4 / 4
    Great product!
    • My best friend recommended the Clarisonic to me. I reviewed it and thought it was pricey. I finally broke down a year later and purchased it. My face did have some breakouts the first month, proving to me that my face wasn't as clean and clear as I thought. After using it for over a year now, I absolutely love it! I'm 55 and have beautiful, clear, glowy skin. I think my products work much better as well. I receive compliments all the time. I wouldn't live without my Clarisonic.

  4. Laura J.
    Reviewed on Tuesday, May 13, 2014
    • Recommend
      1 / 4
    • Value
      1 / 4
    • Results
      3 / 4
    Loved it until it stopped working just out of warranty
    • I had a Mia2 and loved it and the results I saw . . . until it stopped working 4 months out of warranty. It would vibrate and beep, but not charge. I called Clarisonic to see if it was the charger. I was told that the unit was "unrepairable" and because it was out of warranty, they could do nothing for me and could not assure me a new one would last any longer. Rep said that Mia2's last 3-5 years before they die permanently, so maybe I "got a bad one." $150 for 2 years' use? No thank you.

  5. GRETA F.
    Reviewed on Wednesday, April 09, 2014
    • Value
      1 / 4
    • Results
      1 / 4
    • Recommend
      1 / 4
    Ruined my face for a week!
    • Used the Clarisonic Mia II every other day for a week. Although the device didn't feel like it was doing anything, my face felt stripped raw and broke out with a few big pustules. I quit using it and everything finally went back to normal in about a week. I returned it.

  6. Jacqueline B.
    Reviewed on Saturday, March 15, 2014
    • Results
      4 / 4
    • Recommend
      4 / 4
    • Value
      4 / 4
    Love your product line Paula, but disagree
    • I noticed a vast improvement in my skin texture after purchasing Clarsonic. Hoping that the use of this cool tool along with Paulas line will bring me the best skin ever. No easy task as Im 53 and am still having hormonal breakouts along with wrinkles and large pores. So far so Great!

  7. Laura R
    Reviewed on Monday, March 10, 2014
    • Value
      4 / 4
    • Recommend
      4 / 4
    • Results
      4 / 4
    I adore my Clarisonic
    • I love my clarisonic Mia. It was expensive but well worth the money. It was just what my congested skin needed after the results were starting to level off after I began using Paula's Choice products. I also have to chuckle over this article poopooing this product while virtually the same product is on their bucket list of products to try.

  8. Anne W.
    Reviewed on Tuesday, January 21, 2014
    • Results
      1 / 4
    • Recommend
      1 / 4
    • Value
      1 / 4
    Great at first...
    • This caused my skin to become overly sensitive...be very careful, don't overdo it! The first few weeks your skin feels great but over time it damages your skin then "suddenly" your skin has become sensitive...try only once per day or better yet, when you do your once/twice weekly mask routine.

  9. Anonymous
    Reviewed on Saturday, January 04, 2014
    • Value
      3 / 4
    • Results
      4 / 4
    • Recommend
      4 / 4
    Genius Invention!
    • I've had my Clarisonic Mia 2 System for a year now and I will say that I personally have never had such clean, soft &more radiant skin in my life! Yes, I am 21 years old, but with stress at college and everyday life, I want what's best for my skin, inside and out. I take really good care of my skin. I wear sunscreen usually everyday and I moisturize my skin everyday. I feel that it really deep cleans and exfoliates my skin daily, without over-drying or damaging it. Plus, it's kinda fun to use!

  10. Jan S.
    Reviewed on Friday, December 27, 2013
    • Results
      1 / 4
    • Value
      1 / 4
    • Recommend
      1 / 4
    N'uh UH ... no thank you
    • I'm in the minority here and in the beauty-verse in general, but after shelling out for this device shortly after it hit the market, my skin reacted violently. Yes, I bought and used the delicate head for sensitive skin (despite not having "diagnosed" sensitive skin), but found that using it as few as 3x a week, created raw spots on my cheeks. Additionally, my then-adult acne got worse than ever. I've since had 2 estheticians tell me they wished people would toss this thing.

  11. Annette D.
    Reviewed on Thursday, December 19, 2013
    • Value
      3 / 4
    • Recommend
      4 / 4
    • Results
      4 / 4
    Worth it.
    • It's addicting. It's anti aging because cleaner skin will look younger. It will make your products work more effectively such as serums and moisturizers. My skin feels more moisturizers, supple when I use the clarisonic. That's why it's addicting. It also brightens the skin. Increases the vitamin c in your skin according to the company. It's not cheap. When I purchased the Mia 2 it was $30.00 more than the Mia and had double the warranty. Now, only certain models carry the warranty.

  12. ANETA D.
    Reviewed on Monday, December 16, 2013
    • Results
      4 / 4
    • Value
      4 / 4
    • Recommend
      4 / 4
    A wonderful invention!
    • I was sceptical about it for a long time, but a sales person at Macy's convinced me that I would love the results or they would take the brush back.. I am so glad I gave it a try, as it is a total game changer. I use it only in the morning. I use AHA's and Tretinoin creams and this brush helps remove dead cell and smooths the skin to perfection. I have great skin, but the brush makes it absolutely perfect! You will have better skin even if you use it once a day or every couple of days.

  13. S. Miller
    Reviewed on Sunday, November 17, 2013
    • Recommend
      4 / 4
    • Value
      3 / 4
    • Results
      4 / 4
    Pricey, but worth it.
    • I'm a big fan of Paula Begoun, and respect her opinion. However, the Clarisonic is a must-have for me, no matter the price point. It just does a fantastic job of cleansing the face. I use the $6 Trader Joe's face wash (don't laugh, it's a "Best" product) with the Clarisonic, and I get far better results when they're used in tandem. The softness and clarity of my skin is markedly improved, and the Clarisonic is the only thing that alleviates my hormonal acne and helps fade discoloration.

  14. Peggy D
    Reviewed on Tuesday, October 22, 2013
    • Results
      4 / 4
    • Recommend
      4 / 4
    • Value
      4 / 4
    A great investment
    • The Clarisonic Mia was recommended to me by a dermatologist. I have lots of scarring and rough spots from acne when I was younger. Within less than a week after starting to use the Clarisonic my face became smooth as a baby's bottom, and it glowed, like a school girls. Now if I miss using it twice a day I can tell. I am 65 yrs old and have never used anything that improved the texture, color and glow of my skin like the Clarisonic, NEVER.

  15. Kathleen V.
    Reviewed on Monday, September 30, 2013
    • Recommend
      4 / 4
    • Value
      4 / 4
    • Results
      4 / 4
    Sorry Paula, I respectfully disagree
    • Okay, I'm not Paula but I've been using the Clarisonic for a couple years now and I love it! My skin breaks out much less frequently than it did before regardless of which cleanser I use with the device. It feels smoother and my makeup goes on better. I had small breakouts always along my hairline on my forehead and yes, sounds weird, but near my ears and since I started using the Clarisonic they've been gone and never come back. I wouldn't be without my Clarisonic!!

  16. Peg M.
    Reviewed on Thursday, September 19, 2013
    • Results
      3 / 4
    • Recommend
      2 / 4
    • Value
      3 / 4
    clarisonic system
    • This feels good on the skin and skin feels cleaner. Have had problems with my sensitive skin in using twice daily and now use only once a day. I really question whether the it is cost effective.

  17. Karen K.
    Reviewed on Tuesday, September 17, 2013
    • Recommend
      4 / 4
    • Value
      3 / 4
    • Results
      4 / 4
    Enhances skin care program
    • My face definitely feels cleaner after using the Clarisonic, and I think it makes all my skincare products absorb better. When I get lazy and skip it for a week, I inevitably see new blackheads or clogged pores.

  18. VALERIE R.
    Reviewed on Monday, September 16, 2013
    • Recommend
      3 / 4
    • Results
      3 / 4
    • Value
      2 / 4
    Works great
    • Yes, the Clarisonic works great, especially when you first start using it. My issue with it is that it gets mold and mildew behind the brush which requires soaking it in peroxide to remove. The company also recommends cleaning the brush head once a week with antibacterial soap but this hasn't helped mildew.The mildew also gets on the clarisonic itself and is hard to remove. So it isn't very hygienic to use. The company recommends replacing the brush heads every 3 months but those are $$$$.

  19. Laura M
    Reviewed on Sunday, September 15, 2013
    • Recommend
      4 / 4
    • Value
      4 / 4
    • Results
      4 / 4
    Best investment for my skin
    • This is an up front investment but well worth the cost. I have used this system for years. Not long after using it I was getting complements on my skin. I am in my 40s and never had someone say anything about my skin before. Some of my fine lines disappeared, acne much better controlled. Recommend 1000%!

  20. Ginger A
    Reviewed on Sunday, September 15, 2013
    • Results
      4 / 4
    • Recommend
      3 / 4
    • Value
      3 / 4
    Can Be Too Abrasive
    • I'm 52 with acne prone sensitive skin. I tried using the Clairsonic twice a day and it was just too much. My skin was red all of the time. Now I'm on Retin A so I only use Paula's products and use the Clairsonic about once a week. It's all my skin can take!

  21. Penny
    Reviewed on Sunday, September 15, 2013
    • Results
      4 / 4
    • Recommend
      4 / 4
    • Value
      3 / 4
    Best at night
    • Some people can use the Clarisonic twice a day and others can't. I'm 55 and I find that twice a day is too much - I start to get dry, flaky patches. But using it only at night after I take off my makeup and before starting my Paula routine really makes a difference. It even takes off makeup left behind after using your toner, leaving a perfectly clean "canvas" for Paula's products to do their magic.

  22. Michelle K
    Reviewed on Sunday, September 15, 2013
    • Recommend
      2 / 4
    • Results
      2 / 4
    • Value
      2 / 4
    Not good for sensitive skin
    • When I first started using the Clarisonic (Sensitive brush head) I was happy with the results. My skin felt very smooth, and I felt as though my pores were more refined. However, after a couple of months I noticed my skin becoming irritated and red to the point where I couldn't use it everyday. I switched to the Delicate brush head hoping this would solve the problem. Unfortunately, it did not. I now only use the Clarisonic once a week. I would NOT recommend this for sensitive skin.

  23. Anonymous
    Reviewed on Saturday, September 14, 2013
    • Results
      3 / 4
    • Recommend
      3 / 4
    • Value
      2 / 4
    Don't Believe All The Hype! But....
    • I really do like using the Clarisonic System. I purchased another brand first after much research and was not that impressed. I bought it because it had decent reviews and was priced a little lower. The brush was too harsh and not very pleasant to use so I decided to try the Clarisonic which I liked immediately. Although the brush wasn't as soft as I expected my skin felt very fresh and clean. I notice a difference if I take a lazy break from it but please don't fall for the ridiculous hype.

  24. PAMELA D.
    Reviewed on Saturday, September 14, 2013
    • Value
      4 / 4
    • Recommend
      4 / 4
    • Results
      4 / 4
    A Must in Your Skin Care Routine
    • I have been using mine for about 10 years now. In the beginning I used it on the gentle speed once a day. After about 5 years I bumped it up and now I use it three times a week. I love how it cleans my skin, gets the dead skin off and makes my skin absorb my serum and moisturizer well. My daughter tried mine and had to have one. Pricey, yes. But it is better than any rag or buff-puff.. I use mine in the shower too. My 62 year old skin is smooth. Gentle use is a must.

  25. Sylvia G
    Reviewed on Tuesday, September 10, 2013
    • Results
      4 / 4
    • Value
      4 / 4
    • Recommend
      4 / 4
    Clarisonic Classic Skin Care System
    • The first time I was introduced to this product I was getting a professional facial from a reputable spa. I love the way my skin felt and looked. This was over 2 years ago. The spa was selling the Clarisonic Skin System but I felt it was very expensive. However, I found it on the web and it was offered somewhat more reasonable with a traveling bag and it came with 3 samples of cleansers. I have found that this has been a good investment in my skin care regime. I would recommend it.

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About the Experts

Paula Begoun is the best-selling author of 20 books on skin care and makeup. She is known worldwide as the Cosmetics Cop and creator of Paula's Choice. Paula's expertise has led to hundreds of appearances on national and international television including:

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The Paula's Choice Research Team is dedicated to helping you find the absolute best products for your skin, using research-based criteria to review beauty products from an honest, balanced perspective. Each member of the team was personally trained by Paula herself.

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